Risotto-stuffed Tomatoes
October 7th, 2010

serves 6

6 large, ripe tomotoes

1/2 cup arborio rice

1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano

1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degc, brush a baking dish with olive oil, set aside

- Cut a slice off the top of each tomato to make a cap

- Hollow out the tomatoes, reserve the pulp

- Sprinkle the inside of each tomato with salt and turn them upside down to drain out their moisture

- Sieve the tomato pulp into a bowl and add the rice, herbs, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper

- Allow to stand for 30 minutes

- Drain the rice, reserving the tomato liquid

- Fill the hollowed out tomatoes with the rice and pour a little of the tomato liquid on top

- Replace the caps on the tomatoes and arrange in the baking dish

- Bake for 1 hour or until the rice is tender and dry

- Add additional liquid whilst cooking when necessary

* these are delicious served hot with grilled lamb chops or serve cold with salad meats

Borlotti bean Moussaka
March 26th, 2010

serves 6

2 x 4oog tins borlotti beans, drained

2 large eggplants/melanzane

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

125g brown mushrooms, sliced

1 cup red wine

2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 cup greek full cream yoghurt

4 eggs lightly beaten

2 cups full cream milk

1/4 teaspoon paprika

100g grated parmesan cheese

50g fresh breadcrumbs

Pre-heat the oven to medium-high grill.

Slice the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Brush the eggplant with oil, place on an oven tray and grill on each side for 3 minutes until golden. Drain the grilled eggplant on paper towels.

Reset the oven to 200deg.c

Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until the onion has softened.

Add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned.

Add the red wine, cook for 5 minutes before adding the tomatoes, tomato paste and oregano.

Simmer the mixture for 40 minutes, spoon in the borlotti beans and stir through. Check for seasoning

Spoon the  mixture into a greased oven proof dish. Top with the grilled eggplant slices.

Whisk together the yoghurt, eggs, milk and paprika. Pour the mixture over the eggplant and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese over the yoghurt mixture and bake for 55 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving

Spinach and chickpea casserole
March 26th, 2010

serves 4

1 bunch fresh spinach

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

teaspoon ground cumin

teaspoon tumeric

teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

4 tomatoes, diced

400g canned chickpeas, drained

Remove the stalks from the spinach and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Allow to drain and chop finely, set aside.

Place olive oil in a saucepan over moderate heat, add garlic and spices and stir for a minute before adding the tomatoes.

Cook gently for 5 minutes and add the spinach. Cook for a few minutes further, stirring at regular intervals.

Add the chickpeas and stir through until  the chickpeas are completely warm.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with warm crusty bread.

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